Amateur Photographer verdict

The Vanguard VEO City S30 is a uniquely versatile bag, which can switch from being slimline and street-friendly to a more capacious, if bulkier, form. It’s also packed full of neat and useful features
  • Uniquely versatile three-way design
  • Lots of pockets for accessories
  • Includes tripod carrying straps
  • Secure kit access
  • Smart styling
  • Side pockets are very tight for a water bootle
  • Quite bulky when both bags are used together

It’s not often that a camera bag does something unusual that I haven’t seen before. But the Vanguard VEO City S30 is a bit different. It’s a small shoulder bag with a removable ‘tech pouch’ on the front. This means it can be used in three ways, either with both parts attached together, or each on its own.

Vanguard VEO City S30 at a glance:

  • £149
  • Holds a camera and 2-4 lenses
  • Pocket for 11in tablet
  • Removable front tech pouch
  • 33.5 x 22 x 22 cm (external)
  • Available in grey or navy blue
The two sections can be used either separately or together. Credit: Andy Westlake/AP

Looking first at the main bag, this is a nicely styled and fairly conventional design that’s ideal for carrying a mirrorless camera and three or four lenses. For example, I was able to fit in a Fujifilm X-T5 with 16-80mm zoom attached, plus 10-24mm and 70-300mm zooms alongside. There are plenty of internal pockets for accessories, plus an RFID-protected pocket under the top front flap.

Your gear isn’t accessed in quite the way you’d think, though, with that front flap being mostly cosmetic. Instead, there’s a top zip opening that folds up away from your body. This provides additional security for your valuable kit.

The bag will hold a camera, three or four lenses, and a 10-in tablet. Credit: Andy Westlake / AP

Turning our attention to the front tech pouch, this is a slimline affair with a clamshell opening that opens wide for easy access to the contents. There’s an internal slip pocket for tickets or your passport, and lots of elasticated loops for organising cables etc. This part is also handy for storing such things as batteries and filters.

The tech pouch section has plenty of loops for organising cables and accessories. Credit: Andy Westlake/AP

The two bags fit together via a zip along the top and a couple of clips at the bottom. Once you get the hang of how this works, the pouch is quick and easy to attach and detach.

Vanguard VEO City S30: Key features

  • End Pockets: Two fold-flat external pockets will hold small items such as sunglasses, a mini tripod, or a slim water bottle
  • Tripod straps: You can carry a travel tripod underneath via a pair of detachable straps
  • Rain cover: This fits snugly over the bag with the front pocket attached, and folds away neatly into its own pouch
  • Add-on strap: An additional clip-on strap can either stabilise the bag when carried cross-body, or be used to carry the tech pouch
  • Cable pass-through: You can run a cable from a powerbank inside the bag through a small whole to the exterior for charging your phone.
  • Back pocket: An open flat back pocket provides an easily accessible space for maps or tickets
The two bags attach together by a single zip, with a couple of retaining clips below. Credit: Andy Westlake/AP

Both sections are semi-rigid in construction, with a decent degree of padding. The exterior is made of tough Cordura fabric and the zip closures are waterproof. Both sections have a mesh covering on the back to help stop you getting sweaty. Overall, everything feels really well-made.

The bag comes with straps for carrying a lightweight travel tripod. Credit: Andy Westlake/AP

You get a nice wide carrying strap with plenty of scope for length adjustment. It also has a built-in stretchy neoprene shoulder pad, which makes the bag really comfortable to carry even when it’s full. There’s also a useful grab handle at the top.

You get a snugly fitting rain cover that folds away into its own pouch. Credit: Andy Westlake/AP

If this particular bag looks too small for you, Vanguard also offers the larger VEO City S36 version for £169. It’s slated to hold a DSLR camera and up to four lenses, plus a 13in laptop. Vanguard also makes three VEO City backpacks with similar styling and features, plus various smaller cross-body bags and tech pouches.

The bag alone is nice and slim, but gets bulkier with the tech pouch attached. Credit: Andy Westlake/AP

Vanguard VEO City S30: Our Verdict

Having used the VEO City S30 for a week-long trip, I’ve been impressed by its versatility. Without the front pouch, it’s a nice, slim, discreet bag for wandering around town. The pouch itself is great for keeping personal items close to hand on trains and planes. Add the two together and you get more space to carry accessories, however it does then become quite bulky. 

Amateur Photographer Recommended 4.5 stars

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